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Here are the best free music softwarePublished on
If you are considering getting into music (composing, mixing, singing) but don’t want to invest in too complex software, this article should interest you. Its main purpose is to introduce you to the best free software for making music. Note that these tools can also be used for more traditional tasks such as recording and processing voices for your projects (voiceovers, sketches, etc.). These free solutions are perfect alternatives to the software used in professional studios.
We often talk about Audacity, which is the reference for audio recording and editing, but even if it is simple and very complete, the software does not support all audio formats. In addition, its uncomfortable interface (almost unchanged since its first version) may discourage some users. Here are some more glamorous tools that will certainly appeal to budding Home Studists.
Presonus Studio One Prime
We start our listing with a software whose interface is very similar to that of professional software. It must be said that Presonus, the publisher behind this little nugget, is known for its good quality audio equipment (mixers, external sound cards, amplifiers etc.). Presonus Studio One Prime is completely free.
There are no tricks, just register for free here and download the installation file of the latest version. The software includes 9 basic effects that will allow you to adjust the quality and color of your voice or instruments. Editing audio tracks is intuitive and you can even create different artist profiles and enjoy the tutorials and demonstrations on the home page.
The only flaw of the application is that it does not support third-party VST plugins. What the hell is that? These are effects offered in the form of small free or paid extensions. VSTs are diverse and varied. Here is an example of this.
TDR Nova is what is called an equalizer,
it allows to manage the frequencies produced by instruments, voices etc.
The second software in our selection is MuTools Mulab. This versatile program supports third-party VST. A good point. MuLab’s interface also mimics that of professional software, which simplifies its use. Don’t rely on its basic appearance, it is extremely complete. With this software you can literally do everything without: compose with the virtual instruments provided, edit with the virtual effects and of course record anything you want.
MuLab has nothing to be ashamed of when faced with entry-level to mid-range software such as Cubase Elements. Best of all, it requires no installation or registration to operate. Just unzip the downloaded archive. Be careful, MuLab is English.
Let’s continue with Zynewave’s Podium, which integrates all the essential tools to start in Computer Assisted Music (CAM). The program supports third-party VST and VSTi plugins. On his publisher’s website you will even find free effects packs, pretty cool when you start. On the menu are synths, pianos, virtual amps, equalizers etc. The software is intuitive but it is true that the interface of its homepage is somewhat confusing, especially since the program is in English.
In Podium, you can navigate from one project to another without any problem, a feature that will appeal to home studists who create 10,000 versions of their song before exporting the final. Be careful, this version of Podium only allows you to use 50% of the resources of your machine, which can be disabling if you use a lot of effects (in case of processor overload, the program may be very unstable).
Tracktion Free DAW
Colours, originality and simplicity, here is what awaits you on Tracktion. As Studio One Prime, you will have to register for free on its publisher’s website to benefit from it. Once downloaded and installed you will need to enter your login details and that’s it. If you are looking for software that is off the beaten track, Tracktion Free DAW is the one for you, although its interface is a little reminiscent of Ableton Live (for connoisseurs).
It is very colourful and has nothing to do with that of its free competitors, which is a little destabilizing, we grant you. But once you get your hands dirty and understand the concept, everything works. Tracktion allows you to record and create as many audio tracks or virtual instruments as you want. The program includes about ten effects but it is also compatible with third-party plugins: Thumb Up!
Finally, let’s close this selection with Linux MultiMedia Studio. It says it all in the name. This program is basically a music creation software for Linux. It is nevertheless available on Windows and Mac. It requires no registration and also supports third-party plugins (as you will have understood, only Studio One Prime does not support third-party VSTs). The application is very complete but not very intuitive. But on Linux as you know, the choice is less wide. It is still a good backup solution.
With this selection, which we will update if necessary, you can already test your skills as a singer, beatmaker or budding sound engineer. However, keep in mind that these programs, although complete, cannot do everything and that one day or another, you will have to move up to the next level and probably put your hand in your pocket.
Also to be read: What it takes to compose and record your own music
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